Iranian flat steel importers and traders were seeking lower prices to offset weakening sentiment in Iran’s domestic market.
“Prices in the local market are decreasing day by day,” one trader said, adding that buying activity had been limited due to the presidential elections in Iran earlier this month.
The holy month of Ramadan, which started on May 26, has also led to a slowdown in market activity, sources said.
Hot-rolled coil offers to Iran from Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, otherwise known as MMK, were heard at €400 ($446) per ton FOB Astrakhan.
With the cost of freight to the northern Iran port of Anzali currently standing at around $15-16 per ton, that would be equivalent to $461-462 per ton CFR.
However, the high rate of the euro rate against the US dollar made HRC prices from Russia unattractive for Iranian customers, compared to the ones from Kazakhstan.
HRC of 2 mm thickness from Kazakhstan’s ArcelorMittal Temirtau was on offer at $420 per ton FOB Aktau.
One cargo was reportedly booked by a trader at that level, with the cost of freight from Aktau to Anzali at about $9 per ton, sources said.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly assessment for the import of 2 mm HRC in Iran dropped to $429-461 per ton CFR Iranian ports on May 31, down from $430-466 per ton CFR last week, due to fluctuations in the dollar-euro exchange rate.
ArcelorMittal Temirtau offered cold-rolled coils to Iran at $500 per ton FOB Aktau.
This would be equivalent to $509 per ton CFR Iran, with ArcelorMittal providing a $10 per ton discount for larger shipments.
Nevertheless, no new bookings were heard done last week.
MMK’s CRC was available for Iranian customers at €440 ($491) per ton FOB Astrakhan.
This would be equivalent to $506-507 per ton CFR Iran.
“MMK is not hungry for sales now [as it has] good markets outside Iran,” one trader said, adding that the supplier was planning to increase CRC prices in the near term.
Metal Bulletin’s weekly assessment for CRC imports in Iran slid to $499-506 per ton CFR Iranian ports on May 31, down from $510-515 per ton CFR a week earlier.